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Tips for Managing Stress

Smoldering energy reserves? Adrenal burn out? Stress is natural and when you work through stressful periods in your life, you grow.

Relaxing your mind and body can help you cope with stress. There are many steps you can take to relax your body and mind; ranging from the physical, such as exercising, to the emotional, such as letting go of outcomes. 

Follow these simple tips to relax your mind and body and avoid burn out so you can keep going (and going, and going).

1. Start your day with a healthy breakfast
Eating a protein-rich breakfast with healthy fats (such as nuts or avocados), helps prevent blood sugar crashes during busy mornings and throughout the day.

2. Exercise
Even something as simple as walking or biking daily for half an hour eases stress. Take the stairs, walk to coworkers’ desks rather than sending emails, and power walk to your favorite lunch spot. These small efforts will add up.

3. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep consistently is crucial to your well-being. Lack of sleep leads to elevated levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Most people need at least seven hours of sleep.

4. Do deep breathing exercises
Close your eyes. Exhale completely through your mouth. Breathe in slowly through your nose. Imagine that you are filling your body with air from the bottom up. You can do deep breathing exercises while sitting down, standing up. or lying on your back.

5. Get your mind off your day
Flipping through a magazine, going window-shopping or relaxing in a bath with essential oils—can reduce stress in the same way as traditional forms of meditation. By taking a break to step outside of your life and be in the moment, you're building your resilience to stress, which will make you better able to manage it.   

6. Try meditation
Spending even a few minutes meditating can restore your calm and inner peace. Remove all thoughts and emotions from your mind and concentrate on your breathing. Meditation does not require any special equipment and you can practice it wherever you are—while riding the bus or waiting in the doctor’s office.

7. Let go of outcomes
Did that car just cut in front of you? You may not be able to control the other driver, but you can control how you respond to the situation, says stress-management expert Debbie Mandel. Rather than honking your horn and yelling at the car in front of you, consider that person might be rushing to the hospital for an emergency. Use this approach to get you into the habit of keeping your cool during stressful times.

8. Lean on your community
Seek out like-minded clubs or organizations. Strengthen your personal relationships with your friends, family, and significant others.  If you are feeling frustrated and run down at work, ask for help.  Talking through problems with loved ones helps put your everyday issues in perspective.

9. Give a hug
Go on the positive offensive and reach out to people who seem down.  Caring touch reduces stress and promotes relaxation. Say hello and goodbye to friends and family members with a hug. Don’t be afraid to comfort someone with a hug or to ask people for a hug when you are overwhelmed.

10. Talk it out
Interpersonal conflicts can raise cortisol levels and stress you out.  Don’t expect others to be mind readers and anticipate your needs when you’re upset about something.  Talk to them about what's really bothering you.

11. Learn to say no
If you take on too much, the likelihood of feeling burned out increases.

12. Avoid toxic personalities
Spend less time with people who try to guilt you into doing things, tell you you’re not good enough or who are constantly complaining.  Sometimes, it’s best to let go of people who sap your energy or stress you constantly.

Reprinted with changes from, by permission of publisher and wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how to manual.

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